THE starter's gun has fired on the long-awaited redevelopment of the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre (MAAC).
An additional $4.9 million grant will give the project the funding required to proceed after the former pool was removed due to a "catastrophic" structural failure.
The hole in the ground eyesore, where the pool once sat, will be removed and replaced with a modern new pool, negating the need for parents to take their children to Warialda or Bingara to swim and allowing a full range of aquatic activities to return.
Last year council received a $999,358 state government grant for the construction of a new clubhouse and amenities at the facility.
The full redevelopment - totalling $16.3m - includes a new 50-metre pool, grandstand and clubhouse, a refurbished heating plant and construction of a chemical storage shed.
The two existing hot pools, program pool and wellness pool will be upgraded, along with the kiosk building, wellness centre and gym improvements.
The reconstruction has been years in the making, ever since a number of issues arose following the redevelopment of the facility in 2012.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall joined Moree Plains Shire Mayor Mark Johnson to make the announcement on Wednesday.
Mr Marshall said the project would reinvigorate one of the town's leading visitor attractions.
"MAAC not only provides health benefits to the local community, but it is also a linchpin for Moree's visitor economy," he said.
"During normal operations the centre has attracted more than 200,000 visits from locals, domestic and international travellers annually. I'm sure the town's business sector will welcome the financial benefits resulting from the full resumption of visitors to the MAAC's healing waters."
The Mayor said the council hoped the project would go to tender in August, after councillors approve the project in full at its July meeting.
"The lack of a swimming pool has acted as a significant barrier to swimming participation across the shire, reducing health benefits, water safety skills and tourism opportunities," councillor Johnson said.
Council expects to start construction at the end of the summer swimming season next February.
The build will take the best part of a year with the opening slated for Christmas 2023.
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